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  1. #1
    SmileyFace's Avatar
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    I feel guilty all the time

    I always feel guilty over everything I say and do, even good things. I feel guilty over things I do and things I do not do, and it's gotten to the point where I just feel so stuck and feeling just as much fear.

    This someone I'm really close to.. I didn't get the chance to give him his birthday card in July, and I kind of forgot about the card (since it was hidden away underneath some textbooks). I came across it today and I wanted to still at least give this to him, but a bit more improvised since it's quite past his birthday. I just simply want to give him something that will make him smile, attach the card to some cinnamon PopTarts (his favorite food!). But... I keep having second thoughts about this. I feel like this is too much, that it will push him away... even though he had told me so many times I can do whatever I want to show him I care. We were together for about 3 yrs and I never really did anything for him to make him smile because I constantly feared it would make me seem clingy, so this ruined our relationship.

    Now, I'm still feeling this way, even though I know I cannot afford to keep being this way. I really, really want to give him this little gift, I really do. But I keep feeling scared that it's "stupid" or "cheesy" even though he has said he'd really like these kinds of things.

    I hate it I feel guilty over everything. I get this way with other people as well. I feel like everything I do is bad. I constantly feel I'm a bad person *sigh* it's so frustrating and draining. I don't even know what to do anymore.

  2. #2
    Ironman's Avatar
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    Is it guilt or shame? Either way, it's too much. Right now, you are trying to overcome anxiety, which has the guilt/shame overboard stuff as a facet of the disorder.
    The key is to be a bit easier on yourself as you grow. Give the guy the PopTart and tell him you are glad he is your friend. You don't necessarily have to tell him that you missed his birthday.

  3. #3
    Inscrutable Banana's Avatar Diggin' My Potatoes
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    My mother has a similar problem with this sort of thing. Often when she expresses an opinion, a belief, or something along those lines she'll preface it with “I'm sorry to say” or something to that effect, as if she feels guilty for having her own thoughts and for the possibility that they might differ from the thoughts of others. There are also situations where it more closely resembles what you've described in your situation.

    In regards to the specific situation you're describing I'd like to refer to a relevant personal experience of mine as a way to offer encouragement and try to help alleviate the fear that your gift is “stupid” or “cheesy”. I've received a relatively small chunk of money for my birthday each year for a while now, but outside of that I never really get any actual gifts—I'm just left to buy my own with the money I get, which isn't necessarily something that has never bothered me much. However, for my most recent birthday someone took the time and effort to send me an actual gift. It was a small package consisting of a birthday card, coffee beans, some reading material, and a small figurine. It was the kind of gift that shows its worth in sentiment and thoughtfulness rather than in less meaningful ways, and while I like shiny things as much as the next person, things that aren't extravagant but clearly come from a good place are worth just as much if not more when it comes to making people feel good. The coffee was happily consumed and is long gone, of course, but the other stuff is a continuous reminder of a thoughtful gift; I enjoyed flipping through the reading material and I've taken good care of the figurine out of respect for the person who entrusted me with its care, as well as my own personal appreciation for both the figurine and the person who sent it. Birthday/greeting cards are something that people often view flimsy gestures, but I appreciated the one I received and continue to hold onto it for sentimental reasons.

    No matter how small the gift is, it can be big in its own ways. It sounds to me like this person has gone out of his way to let you know that he understands that. I hope that you can manage to work your way past your feelings of guilt and your fears and doubts and give him his belated birthday gift, but if not then I agree with Ironman in that you could disassociate your gift giving with his birthday. You don't have to tie a gift to a special occasion, after all—you can let someone know you appreciate them at any time in a number of different ways. Doing something for this person under any context and forgiving yourself for missing his birthday will hopefully help to embolden you for future attempts at gift giving.

    Lastly, to touch on the subject of being clingy: while you appear to be aware that your concerns in this regard aren't necessarily rational, I'd like to offer my reassurances by saying that receiving the occasional gift or other affectionate gesture from a woman as a reminder that they care is most definitely not something the vast majority of men would consider clingy. The feeling of being smothered that you're afraid of triggering is generally reserved for far more aggressively time/attention monopolizing behaviors.
    “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.” — George Carlin

    "If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little." — George Carlin

  4. #4
    SmileyFace's Avatar
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    Is it guilt or shame? I'd say guilt. I know it is totally okay to feel how I feel (as in... wanting to give this little gift, knowing it will make him smile since he LOVES these PopTarts. It's almost all he eats during the day). But I don't know.. it's that fear of coming off as so cheesy. No matter who it is here, I would feel that way. I always, always felt like I had to get something totally extravagant for it to be meaningful, even though I know it doesn't necessarily work like that. I guess it doesn't help that I've grown up in a household where there always had to be emphasis on expensive, fancy shmancy gifts... if you gave something that wasn't any of that, it was considered pathetic.

    And I also always feel like I'm not doing enough or giving enough to people I care about. Unfortunately, I end up giving more to people who don't deserve [BEEP] from me than I give to those who are deserving.

    *sigh*

    Thank you for the responses, everyone. It did make me feel better about everything. I'm still a little anxious over it... but... I know I'd feel a lot worse if I just gave up and didn't give him anything at all.

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    Quote GrumpyCatFan View Post
    I always feel guilty over everything I say and do, even good things. I feel guilty over things I do and things I do not do, and it's gotten to the point where I just feel so stuck and feeling just as much fear.

    This someone I'm really close to.. I didn't get the chance to give him his birthday card in July, and I kind of forgot about the card (since it was hidden away underneath some textbooks). I came across it today and I wanted to still at least give this to him, but a bit more improvised since it's quite past his birthday. I just simply want to give him something that will make him smile, attach the card to some cinnamon PopTarts (his favorite food!). But... I keep having second thoughts about this. I feel like this is too much, that it will push him away... even though he had told me so many times I can do whatever I want to show him I care. We were together for about 3 yrs and I never really did anything for him to make him smile because I constantly feared it would make me seem clingy, so this ruined our relationship.

    Now, I'm still feeling this way, even though I know I cannot afford to keep being this way. I really, really want to give him this little gift, I really do. But I keep feeling scared that it's "stupid" or "cheesy" even though he has said he'd really like these kinds of things.

    I hate it I feel guilty over everything. I get this way with other people as well. I feel like everything I do is bad. I constantly feel I'm a bad person *sigh* it's so frustrating and draining. I don't even know what to do anymore.
    I think that would be a really sweet gesture.

    And as for the guilt all the time, I'm learned that when people have overwhelming guilt sometimes its something they picked up as a child. Children have to bond with someone to survive. If a parent or caregiver is not the best, the child takes on anything bad that happens so they can keep their caregiver/parent good. That way they are able to bond. The problem is that we continue this guilty feeling even as adults when we didn't do anything wrong. Bullies and blamers are good that reinforcing this guilt by not taking responsibility for their own actions.

    So don't be so hard on yourself for that feeling. You may have picked it up as a survival mechanism. When you recognize it, you're able to work with it.
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

  6. #6
    SmileyFace's Avatar
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    Quote chantellabella View Post
    I think that would be a really sweet gesture.

    And as for the guilt all the time, I'm learned that when people have overwhelming guilt sometimes its something they picked up as a child. Children have to bond with someone to survive. If a parent or caregiver is not the best, the child takes on anything bad that happens so they can keep their caregiver/parent good. That way they are able to bond. The problem is that we continue this guilty feeling even as adults when we didn't do anything wrong. Bullies and blamers are good that reinforcing this guilt by not taking responsibility for their own actions.

    So don't be so hard on yourself for that feeling. You may have picked it up as a survival mechanism. When you recognize it, you're able to work with it.
    Can you please clarify what you mean here? I don't quite get it. I read it over several times, and I still don't get it. Sorry lol

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    Quote GrumpyCatFan View Post
    Can you please clarify what you mean here? I don't quite get it. I read it over several times, and I still don't get it. Sorry lol
    Children are egocentric and therefore believe that no matter what happens in their world, they caused it. They believe they can control people and their environment around them. But they need to attach to someone to survive. So if their parents are perpetrators, they will attach to them anyway, but put the blame for the abuse on themselves.

    My therapist worked with Dr. Colin Ross and she explains "locus of control shift" and "attachment to perpetrator" to me all the time. This isn't the best source, but it does explain about the guilty feelings under the Trauma Therapy session. http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Ros...logical_Trauma

    These are better resources http://www.worldcat.org/identities/n...gical%20trauma

    http://www.attach.org/resources/form...regulation.pdf

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qMm...0shift&f=false

    Here's some resources also (egad, I've turned into spam) http://www.rossinst.com/downloads/Tr...rapy_Flyer.pdf

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=24&ved=0CDc QFjADOBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.texarkanacollege.ed u%2Fassets%2Fmsdocs%2Fseminars%2FmentalHealth%2FAf ter_Effects_of_Childhood_Trauma.ppt&ei=tEosUt6gCsf o2gWL5oGIDQ&usg=AFQjCNEQcpeRiMTuJuFn7CgDWbOBdzWQ&sig2=_W5D6SXIicclwzb3qVdQlw
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

  8. #8
    SmileyFace's Avatar
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    Ahhh ok, I think I get it now.

  9. #9
    SmileyFace's Avatar
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    So I gave him the Pop Tarts and cards yesterday. I honestly cannot tell how he felt about it, although he did tell me thank you at the end of the day. Yesterday we hung out, and I was just so anxious the entire time, scared that I will say or do something to upset him. I'm kicking myself right now because there were times where I was just so quiet all of a sudden, and I know that kinda frustrates him and makes things awkward. I just felt so guilty about wanting to hang out with him, it felt like I was just simply dragging him around and that he was "just there," even though I've never meant to do that (he has told me before it's felt that way).

    I just feel so fuckin shitty today about yesterday. A part of me wishes we didn't hang out, because I feel like I fucked up so bad. I feel bad for even wanting to give him something out of nowhere, I feel like it wasn't meaningful enough. I wish I had gotten something else, but I don't know... I wish I didn't buy him anything yesterday (I got him Thai tea). He liked it, but I feel guilty... I'm scared that it'll come off like I'm trying to look like a good person by spending money on things for him when I know I'm not trying to be like that.

    I'm just a fuckin mess today. I want to say sorry to him for being quiet here and there yesterday, but I know that will annoy him because I have done that before, and he'd get pissed off and tell me I need to stop doing these "evaluations" on myself each and everytime we hang out.

    Hell, I just feel guilty about being myself and doing whatever the hell I want. He has told me time and time again I should just do whatever I want, but now that I had done so (giving him a gift), I feel like a lame person.. like that was so cheesy of me, even though I know I wouldn't think that of someone if they were to give me Pop Tarts and a card outta nowhere.

    I constantly feel like I shouldn't even be doing anything at all. Anything I do, I feel guilty about... things that the average human does because it's just part of our nature. But I just feel like I'm not "allowed" to do these things. I always feel like I'm doing something wrong...whether or not I do something.


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